Bone Grafting Prepares the Jaw for Dental Implants
At Nordhus Dentistry, we are pleased to offer dental implants to our Wichita, KS, patients. Dental implants are a more permanent alternative to traditional crowns, bridges, or dentures. When a patient has struggled with dentures for many years, implants offer a welcome respite from their discomforts and limitations. However, for many patients, tooth loss has led to a decrease in available bone mass in the jaw that may prevent the implant surgery from being successful. If you lack sufficient bone density to support dental implants, Dr. Byron J. Nordhus can augment your jawbone with bone grafting. We also offer sinus lift surgery, a similar procedure which can provide a strong, healthy foundation for your smile.
Why is Bone Grafting Necessary?
Following tooth loss, the jawbone naturally begins to deteriorate because it is no longer receiving stimulation from the missing tooth's roots when chewing and speaking. The longer a patient is missing teeth, the more jawbone tissue will be lost. For patients who have already gone many years without teeth, the jaw may not have enough bone mass to provide a stable base for implants. During the consultation process, Dr. Nordhus can determine whether you will require a bone graft, using a set of diagnostic imaging studies, such as x-rays and CT scans.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone augmentation is a surgical procedure in which particulate bone matter is transplanted into the jaw. As the patient heals, the new bone matter integrates with the jaw to form greater bone density, which helps create a stable foundation for dental implants. The bone used in bone grafting may be taken from the patient's own body or a donor, or it may be composed of synthetic bone material. Bone grafting can help ensure successful osseointegration after dental implants have been placed.
What to Expect from Bone Grafting Surgery
During a bone grafting procedure, synthetic or natural granules of bone matter are placed in the jaw at the treatment area. Natural bone tissue may come from human cadavers or from animal bone sources. If the source of your bone graft is important to you, Dr. Nordhus will be happy to discuss your preferences when you discuss your treatment plan.
Bone grafting can help ensure successful osseointegration after dental implants have been placed.
Bone grafting is typically done on an out-patient basis, and may even take place in the dentist's office. Most patients are given local anesthesia, oral conscious sedation, or intravenous sedation during the procedure, to ensure their comfort. Dr. Nordhus will be happy to discuss the available sedation options for your procedure.
After Bone Grafting Surgery
You may need two weeks or more to heal from the surgery, during which time the grafting sites should be treated very gently. You can expect to have sutures in your mouth at the site of the grafts; it is important not to disturb these areas because touching them, poking them, or pulling the lips back to look at them may damage the wounds and prevent proper healing.
In the first two days after a bone graft, patients may find small granules of bone matter in the mouth. This is normal, but the following precautions can help you minimize the loss of graft materials.
- Do not spit, rinse, or suck through a straw in the first two days.
- Do not apply pressure to the wounds.
- Do not smoke.
Dr. Nordhus will provide you will specific after-care instructions to manage this period with as little discomfort as possible.
Proper nutrition is essential during the healing period after bone grafting. Post-surgical sensitivity in the mouth may make it difficult to eat the same foods you are used to, but your body will need good sources of nutrition for optimal healing and integration of the bone tissue. Dr. Nordus can give you specific information on nutritional advice if you are unsure of your ability to eat healthy during your recovery.
Schedule Your Consultation
A bone grafting surgery may extend the dental implant timeline by several months and add to the total cost, but it is a critical step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you have been told you may need bone grafting, call us at 316-721-6730 or visit us online to make an appointment with Dr. Nordhus. We will go over your treatment plan in detail, and answer any questions you might have about bone grafting.